Skirted by the Arabian Sea and the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat is landscaped by a vast terrain of forests, mountains, rivers, and waterfalls, which makes it an ideal home for splendid wildlife as well as one of the most important hotspots of biodiversity in India.
The vast wildlife of Gujarat holds a variety of flora and fauna with over 2,758 species of animals, more than 498 species of birds, including endangered avifauna like Great Indian Bustard, Macqueen’s Bustard, Houbara Bustard, Lesser Florican, and Demoiselle Crane and a huge range of amphibians, reptiles, insects, fishes, and many more.
Gujarat is famous for being the last home of the majestic Asiatic Lion and the Asiatic Wild Ass. The state has 4 National Parks and 21 Wildlife Sanctuaries that include Gir Forest National Park, Marine National Park, Wild Ass Sanctuary, Nal Sarovar Birds Sanctuary, and other well-known sanctuaries and national reserves.
The famous Rann of Kutch, situated in the region of the Thar Desert is a salty marsh area perfect as a wildlife haven, particularly for the endangered population of Wild Asses.
Gir National Park
The king of the jungle resides in this dry deciduous forest region. Home to the rare species, the Asiatic Lion, the Gir National Park is the only abode of the Asiatic Lion in its natural habitat. As of June 2020, the estimated population of Asiatic Lions in Gir was 674. The other famous big cat of the Gir forest is the Leopard, a solitary animal difficult to spot and well known for its hunting skills.
Little Rann Wild Ass Sanctuary
Home to another precious ecosystem and holding the only remaining population of the Indian Wild Ass, The Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Rann of Kutch region in Gujarat has over 3,000 Indian Wild Asses in the Sanctuary. This quiet haven is home to 32 other types of mammals including Chinkara, Desert Fox, and much more.
The Velavadar Blackbuck National Park
One of the smallest National Parks in the country, covering an area of 34 square km, the Velavadar Blackbuck National Park is an amazing reserve for naturalists and wildlife enthusiasts. Velavadar is a grassland that is one of the finest places to see Blackbucks in their natural habitat.
The Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary
Ringed by lush forested hills, like Teak, Mahua, and Bamboo thickets the Jambughoda Wildlife Sanctuary in Panchmahal is a magnificent wildlife reserve, which is home to Wild Boar, Nilgai, Jackal, Hyena, Barking Deer, Sloth Bear, Chausingha and Leopard.
The Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
One of the largest wetland sanctuaries in the country with 120.82 square km of lake, flat plains, wetlands, and marshes, the Nalsarovar Birds Sanctuary is a brilliant bio reserve where you can spot Ducks, Geese, Eagles, Spoonbills, Cranes, Pelicans, and Flamingos. You can often see Wild Ass and Black Buck grazing in the Sanctuary.
The Shoolpaneshwar Sanctuary
Spread for over 608 sq km, this rich deciduous forest with tall trees, rippling streams, and breath-taking waterfalls is home to the shaggy sloth bear. The sanctuary holds over 575 species of flora and 230 species of fauna and is a must-visit in Narmada.
The Barda Wildlife Sanctuary
Considered a second home to the Asiatic Lion, the lush Barda Wildlife Sanctuary is a great attraction for nature lovers as they will be captivated by this splendid reserve that has over 650 plant species.
The Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary
Located at the foot of the ancient Aravalli hills, the Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary consists of mixed deciduous and desert thorn forests and is a natural home to the endangered Sloth Bear and many other rare species of flora and fauna.
Vansda National Park
Home to over 115 species of birds, the Vansda National Park is a green oasis of lush vegetation, tall trees, flowers, and a wide range of flora and fauna. Visitors can enjoy the birdlife paradise as they spot the Great Black Woodpecker, Emerald Dove, Grey Hornbill, Racket-Tailed Drongo, Paradise Flycatcher, and Leaf birds.
Marine National Park
Spread over 458 sq km, India’s first Marine Wildlife Sanctuary and first Marine National Park is a wonderland holding seven species of mangroves that provide nurseries and shelter to prawns, fishes, birds, and other marine life, including colourful sponges and corals. Visitors will be awe-struck looking at all the unimaginably rich marine life. Many colourful species of the marine world are spotted here during the low tide.
The Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary
This 2 sq km Bird Sanctuary is one of the smallest bird sanctuaries in India. The Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary is one of the two sanctuaries for the conservation of the Indian Bustard and serves as a perfect adobe for the birds as it feeds on the cereal crops that grow in this semi-desert region.
Gaga Wild Sanctuary
This bird lovers’ paradise is an ornithologist’s dream. This is a must-visit Sanctuary as it is home to over 88 bird species, like the Great Indian Bustard, Larks, Partridges, Sand Grouses, and Flamingos.
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